I’m tired. I love the outdoors and I love experimenting with plants. I enjoy crafts and do a lot of walking with the dog. I do like a bit of photography and I’ve started wine making. Not yet with the fruits from here. I make flavoured gins. My son in law gave me a demijohn so I thought I’d try wine making. I’ve still got a load of apples so I thought I’d try apple wine.
I was brought up in Yorkshire- I was born out in the country in Harrogate. We were brought up as gardeners, with gardens with fruit and veg so its always been there. We’ve always tried to have a garden but when I retired, I wanted an allotment. So I got an allotment to share with other people and now I have an allotment of my own and this. I love working with fruit, pruning and grafting and making our own fruit trees using the branches. You don’t grow a true apple from seed. Its always an experiment because I’m not an expert- I haven’t been on a course.
We were asked if we would volunteer. The school wanted somebody to grow with the parents and the children. They knew we were gardeners, so they dragged us in. So that’s how it started 10 years ago. This was the old gym, which was unused from what was a secondary school and all of the land back here was derelict land.
We’re definitely making a difference in the community. Its a little oasis amongst some housing. People haven’t seen veg growing like this before. A lot of the kids walk by, they see the veg. They see strawberries growing and are used to only seeing them in supermarkets. Seeds will grow. Occasionally the nursery come, not as much as we’d like but some parents will come along with their children. Even if they come once to pick a tomato off a plant it goes a long way. Plant that seed.
It keeps you fairly fit.
In the polytunnel, I brought a lovely clematis from my garden. A lovely winter evergreen. Its always moving from just ‘can you put these in this tray’ to ‘lets take some cuttings’ and now they’re pruning on their own.
We don’t get many people from the neighbourhood. They like it, they like looking out onto it and they might come to an open evening but not very often. So there’s some learning and some patience.
By Hellen Songa.
March 05, 2022